The Essential Day Pack

With so much adventure to be had, make sure you’re ready for anything by packing the right materials. Day hikes, morning crags, and searches for Sasquatches; whatever you decide to do today, their are a few essential items that every adventurer should have. So you’re always prepared, here are the contents needed for the essential day pack. Just remember, keep it light to keep moving quick:

The Necessities

It’s hard to pack a bag without first having one. What you’ll want to look for here is space, ergonomics, and efficiency. Leave the school backpack at home if you can, and instead invest in something with multiple pockets, a waist and chest strap, and something that can hold up through any adventurous conditions. Looking for a backpack that can double as your everyday computer backpack? Check out The North Face’s Surge II backpack with compatible laptop sleeve and comfort straps. How about a low-profile climbing day pack that won’t get snagged on sharp rock? Black Diamond’s Bullet Backpack is the answer for you. For the most versatile, everyday use, sleek design; check out Osprey’s Stratos 36 for men and Sirrus 36 for women.

Water Bottle
The number one key to any adventure is proper hydration. Don’t get left high and dry with your water bottle locked away in the car. Even if you’re thinking to yourself, “I’ll only be out for a couple hours”, like any true adventure, things happen. Leave the plastic water bottles on the shelf and invest in a reusable aqua container offered by such fine companies as Nalgene, Sigg, or CamelBak.

Rain Jacket
Usually the rules goes: if you bring your rain jacket, it’s not going to rain. But if you forget your rain jacket, it’s guaranteed to dump from the skies like never before. I have put this to the test in the desert, woods, and walking to the grocery store. And be assured, nothing can potentially mess up your day like a wet t-shirt and soggy cellphone. To stay dry on your next adventure, go the extra mile and invest in a quality rain jacket. Patagonia is very reliable brand with a lifetime guarantee on all their clothing, and their Torrentshell Jacket for Men and Women is one of their best rain jackets on the market. Looking for something simple yet effective? Check out Marmot’s Minimalist jacket for both Men and Women. More of a top of the line consumer? If you got the dough, check out Arc’teryx for their Beta AR jacket for the most bang for the most buck. Available in both Men’s and Women’s.

Once again, even if you are on a day hike, remember to pack for the just in case situations. Just in case you get stuck on the mountain, just in case you take a wrong turn, or just in case you encounter a treasure map that encourages you to go just a bit further. Just in case, pack a few snacks. But leave the loaf of bread and cumbersome Nutella jar at home. Instead pack some energy bars that are dense with carbs and can sustain you on just a bite or two at a time. Check out Clif Bar’s full line of items, or any of the PowerBar performance energy bars, for that snack that delivers a punch. Always follow up with water!

Cell Phone
Alright let’s make one thing clear. If you are taking an adventure, leave the cellphone in your backpack. The conference calls and Facebook posts can wait. But, for emergency reasons, it’s a smart idea to bring some sort of communication to the outside world. You don’t want to go all 127 Hours on us. Put it in a zip lock bag, throw it in an Otter Box, or stuff it into your new rain jacket pockets. Leave it off and hope that you don’t need to use it, but be comfortable with the fact that it’s there if you need it.

The Niceties

Sure, documenting your adventure is great, but don’t spend all your time looking through the viewfinder. If you can find a nice simple point and shoot that will hold up in the outdoors, that is your best bet. Any of the Nikon Coolpix series will work, as well as Canon’s Powershot Series.

Swiss Army Knife
The uses of a good
Swiss Army Knife is immesurable, and definitely a wonderful thing to have. Sleek, compact, and many choices to choose from; you can’t go wrong with a knife that has 100+ years of quality behind it.

Smart Phone Apps
I’ll be the first one to say it, although I dislike the idea of smart phones in the wilderness; some applications are a handy to have. Whether you’re using All Trails to find the best local hike, Mountain Project to scope out the local crag, or Trip Journal to document your epic adventures; whatever app you use, remember to put your phone down every once in awhile.